Friday 30 May 2014


My passport has finally arrived at my house back in England. This is a GREAT day! I would like to send out HUGE thanks to my family, my girlfriend and all my friends who made it possible for me to get it. Thank you.

Technically I should have been in England... so the High commission here and Her Majesty's Passport Office say. On that note I would like to express my extreme dissatisfaction with my government on this matter. Changing the law making a British national who does not have a personal address in whatever foreign country they are in to only be issued with a 5 page emergency passport and have to return back to England to get the real deal does not help anyone in my situation. Granted, there aren't a lot of overlanders, but we do exists! This method also makes every British national who has lost or had their passport stolen abroad buy this emergency passport at the not very modest cost of £100 and then go through the rigmarole of buying the official passport as well. Also. the British High Commission here in Accra have been utterly useless in this whole situation. I have no faith in my government if I ever need help off them abroad again. The high commission here serves for Ghana, Togo and Benin. I could have become a resident of Togo to sort out my passport from here, but oh no! You don't live in Ghana! You need to go home...! What the fuck do British people do if they live in Togo or Benin?

   Since I was then left in the predicament of being in a foreign country with no visa in my temporary passport and with a bike that I kept having to have its permit increased I went back to my high commission to ask for an official letter (very useful things in Africa) to show these different governmental departments why I was in this predicament.

'Why didn't you make a copy of the letter from the embassy of Benin?'

'Because it never touched my hands... it went straight to you!'

'Oh.. well... we don't have it to give it to you know... but we can write this and you can go to immigration with it...'

This. THIS is what they gave me.

On a brighter note on my embassy... they do own their own theatre in Accra, with their own bar and restaurant for all those hard working Brits in the embassy. So if you ever find yourself royally fucked abroad, the embassy can't help you out practically... but you can get smashed and watch a play to forget your woes. Great stuff! It's almost as ridiculous as that photo of David Cameron eating a pasty that he bought from that non-existent pasty shop in Leeds train station.

And as icing on the cake... with my many emails asking the passport office where my passport is, when will I get it etc, I got one three days ago saying that my passport was in the 'examination process.' I asked what processes there are after that and when I should expect my passport and... four hours after my passport dropped through the letter box I received an email saying that after the examination process it gets printed, then I should allow 4-5 days for delivery. So basically, when I got that first email saying that it was in the  'ex-am-in-a-tion pr-oc-ess' it was actually in the post. Well done your Majesty's passport tracking service, well done! 

Rant over. 

Now for the positive stuff. When my passport was stolen, along with all the shit that was happening with my engine(s) I had pretty much hit a place where I really couldn't be arsed with any more shit and was ready to sack it all in and go home. I am VERY glad that I didn't. From the many things you learn from travelling, this experience, along with all the others has taught me that you can hit complete rock bottom... but as long as you're not crippled, there's always a way out... and you can meet some great people along the climb back up too. I think later problems along the road will wash more easily over me now. And thank you for all the messages of support when I was considering throwing in the towel. They really are appreciated. 

Soon I can head on and the story can continue! Excited and nervous in equal measures... I've being softened up here! Still, this feels fucking fantastic now my new passport has been made. 

The bar has been raised to what I would do to stop it from leaving my hands, definitely...  

1 comment :

  1. I had my passport stolen twice in Africa. The first time it happened I was in Malawi and was flying out a week later. I managed to get my passport paperwork done and had the passport sent to the airport on the day I flew out. I did this all through the embassy in Zambia as there was no embassy in Malawi. I was supper impressed. The second time I was in Kenya, and I had every thing stolen. Money, travellers checks, credit cards camera and passport. I ended up with out a single shilling. That was my rock bottom. Luckily I had my bicycle so I was able to bomb around and get stuff done for free, and the place I was staying fronted me accommodation and food until I got things sorted. It was all a challenging time but during this time I was helped by so many people. Good people are everywhere. Within a couple weeks I had everything back except my camera and my pictures of a months cycle tour in Uganda. That sucked the most. I look forward to hearing about your adventure. I check for updates daily. Cheers. JD